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than a century to hit the planet. this one crashed in russia. 1,000 people were injured from shards of flying glass and debris. tonight we have learned there was no warning. more on that from nasa in a moment. we begin with kirit radia in moscow. >> reporter: it came out of nowhere. a bright speck in the sky, soon streaking across the horizon, followed by an almost apocalyptic scene. a blinding flash of light, and then all hell broke loose. [ explosion ] dizzying explosions, shattering windows, knocking these office workers to the ground. these students were lucky, protected by curtains from the flying glass. and these men barely escaped the blast. [ explosion ] in the streets -- pandemonium. terrified residents thought the world was ending. people started to panic. somebody screamed, the end of the earth, he says. the chaos of the meteor captured
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on cell phones and the dashboard cameras of cars, so popular here in russia. the blast was so powerful, it knocked down a wall at this factory. in all, over 1,200 people were injured, mostly from broken glass. 3,000 buildings damaged, over a million square feet of glass shattered. many were injured after going to the window to check out the flash in the sky. the glass shattered and bounced back on me. my beard was cut open, this man says. the meteor was believed to be about 50 feet wide, weighing a whopping 7,700 tons. that's about the same as the eiffel tower. it raced toward the earth at over 40,000 miles an hour. as it crashed into the atmosphere, it began to break into pieces, causing those booms and sending those powerful shockwaves towards the ground, rocking a zone stretching hundreds of miles away. the shockwaves causing all the damage. as for pieces of the meteor, one of the bigger chunks landed here, leaving that massive hole in the frozen lake.
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tonight, about 20,000 russian troops are heading to the area. they'll be helping the residents struggling without windows. temperatures are expected to drop well below zero overnight. russian television coverage has been going wall to wall with what some said looked like a scene out of an action movie. david? >> kirit radia, thank you. this comes as last night, here, we told you about the asteroid barreling toward earth. that was something different. not to be coffin fuse -- not to be confused with this meteor. today, the asteroid was streaming toward earth. as predicted, it missed us this afternoon by about 17,000 miles. but that was still pretty close. tonight, we wanted to bring in amy meinzer an astrophysicist. she joins us from the jet propulsion laboratory in california. amy, thanks for being here. when we saw the images out of russia today, we all wondered, would this happen here? >> it's possible an event like this could happen again.
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this was the largest fireball we have seen in a long time, since about 1908. there could be others that happen that we just don't see, because they happen over the ocean, or over some place that's not populated. >> this image caught our eyes as well. all of those dots are space debris. this is the earth here. 21,000 pieces orbiting the earth. that's a lot of stuff not too far away. >> that's right. there is a lot of space junk out there. we're working hard to track it. keep showing where it's going to go, what's going to happen to it. in most cases, the bits of space debris will fall down. they'll be burned up in the earth's atmosphere. most of the time, they're completely harmless to us. >> most of the time harmless. we knew the asteroid was barreling toward earth. you predicted it would miss us. correct me if i'm wrong, there was no warning for the meteor in russia. that suddenly blinded all the drivers on the road. so what are we to think of that? >> yeah, that's right. the object that came into russia about a day ago, that was about a third of the size of the's ro -- the asteroid that passed us by.
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it's pretty small as these things go. about 15 meters across. about the size of two parked vans end to end. because it was so small, it would have been very faint and very hard for astronomers to see from the ground. >> we know you all have your eyes trained on these particles 24 hours a day. please thank the team for us. >> absolutely. thank you for having me. >> the picture from nasa tonight. overseas for this story. and a stunning moment from south africa tonight. an emotional breakdown in court from oscar pistorius, the disabled olympic athlete now facing murder charges. abc's bazi kanani is our correspondent in south africa. we have the images from the courtroom. >> reporter: the once proud olympian broke down at this first court appearance, weeping as a judge announced he would be charged with premeditated murder. local media quote police saying his covermodel girlfriend, reeva steenkamp, was shot four times through a bathroom door with a 9mm pistol recovered from oscar pistorius' house on valentine's day. prosecutors dismissed reports he mistook her for an intruder. and today said they believe he intended to kill her.
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in his defense, the pistorius family issued a statement saying -- the alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms. >> oscar pistorius is really flying here! >> reporter: pistorius' fans saw a man driven to win. but others who came to know him say it sometimes went too far. >> i worried about oscar hurting himself in various ways because he can be very reckless in his driving of his car, driving of his speedboats. he's an adrenaline freak. >> reporter: one passion was guns, here tweeting this picture of himself at a shooting range where he was a regular. and in another tweet, expressing his persistent fear of burglars coming into his house. nothing like getting home to hear the washing machine on and thinking it's an intruder to go into full combat recon mode into the pantry. friends say they believe the shooting was simply a horrific accident. ex-girlfriend jenna edkins tweets -- i have dated oscar on and off for five years, not once has he ever lifted a finger to
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me, made me fear for my life. but police say they've responded to domestic disputes at the home before though not saying if those involved steenkamp. >> hi, my name is reeva. i'm a celebrity contestant. >> reporter: a 29-year-old law school graduate whose modeling career was taking off. steenkamp recently competed in a south african reality show. producers say it will launch as scheduled tomorrow night with a special tribute to the life of the young woman. pistorius will stay here in jail through the weekend and until his bail hearing on tuesday. for now, his home remains a crime scene. david? >> bazi kanani, thank you. back here at home, 4,200 passengers and crew are finally back on land tonight after spending five days on the carnival cruise ship with no power after that fire. just as we learn tonight that the nightmare may not be over. passengers just now reacting to carnival's offer. here again tonight, abc's matt gutman. >> reporter: they sprinted ashore.
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3,000 passengers, so relieved to be on dry ground, they kissed it. >> that's my first cruise. that's my last cruise. never again. >> reporter: five days after an engine fire left the carnival "triumph" dead in the water. >> once again, folks, please don't worry. there's nothing to worry about. nothing to panic about. >> reporter: and tonight, this new video shows the extreme conditions on the "triumph." people camping on deck, lining corridors with mattresses and sheets, turning couches into beds. in darkened cabins, passengers used flashlights to show us water seeping under the doorways. >> look at this. that's still running out. the stench is horrific. >> reporter: days spent trying to phone home. >> we have tug boats coming out at noon tomorrow to pick up our boat. we're in the middle of the gulf of mexico. >> we're out in the middle of the ocean, dude. the boat caught on fire this morning at about 4:00. >> reporter: for its part, carnival apologized, provided refunds, vouchers for another cruise, and $500 per person. >> it's degrading. demoralizing.
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they want to insult us by giving us $500. >> they could have gotten the at least the elderly, the children, and the pregnant women off the ship. >> reporter: the lawsuits have already begun. but passengers may be out of luck. when you buy those cruise tickets, you often sign away the ability to sue for damages. >> there's no question that carnival and every cruise line like it has thought long and hard about the prospect of lawsuits. they've ensured that they have walled themselves off as much as they possibly can. >> reporter: notice the cranes already working on the "triumph." it will be out of commission for at least two more months. it could take longer than that for carnival to repair its reputation. >> matt gutman again tonight. matt, thank you. one more note. the coast guard pays for the cost of rescuing those cruise ships. that's your money, tax money. on capitol hill today, outrage over that.
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jay rockefeller writing in a letter to the coast guard that, quote, it's time that the cruise line industry, that earns more than $26 billion a year, pay for the costs imposed on the government. don't miss a special "20/20" tonight. troubled waters, an in-depth look at the "triumph" disaster. and the cruise industry. what every family should ask before taking that next cruise. tonight on "20/20." we continue this evening. if you were on facebook today, perhaps you noticed something. facebook coming clean that the site was hacked a month ago. turns out some facebook employees visited a website that was infected. facebook says it quickly fixed the problem and there's no evidence that facebook users had information compromised. we turn to the national conversation on gun violence. and a gripping scene at the white house today. president obama honoring the teachers and staff who lost their lives at sandy hook elementary. the president wiping away a tear as he recounted their heroism on that dark day. he took his message to his
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hometown of chicago. here tonight, jonathan karl. >> reporter: today, the white house planned to focus on the economy. but like the state of the union address, the president's most passionate comments came on gun violence. >> too many of our children are being taken away from us. >> reporter: in chicago, he invoked the memory of hadiyah pendleton, who was gunned down days after performing at the inauguration. >> no law or set of laws can prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. when a child opens fire on another child, there's a hole in that child's heart that government can't fill. >> reporter: earlier, at the white house, raw emotion, as the president honored the adults shot down and killed trying to protect the children of sandy hook elementary school. >> they gave all they had for the most innocent and helpless among us. the courageous heart, the selfless spirit, the inspiring actions of extraordinary americans. extraordinary citizens.
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>> reporter: bill sherlach blew a kiss to heaven as he accepted the award for his wife, sandy hook's school psychologist mary sherlach. she was killed as she ran toward the shooter. the president hugged the mother and daughter of another killed on that day, teacher's aide rachel d'avino. the president said one of the most overlooked factors in urban violence is unstable families and absent fathers. he offered a rare reflection on his own upbringing saying, quote, i wish i had had a father who was around and involved. david? >> a very personal reflection there. jon, i know you'll be talking about the debate over gun violence on sunday, as he fills in for george on "this week. and an exclusive interview with paul ryan and the new white house chief of staff, denis mcdonough. much more ahead on "world news." the wife who gambled her husband's billion-dollar
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fortune. we do the math and hear her excuse right after the break here. in america today we're running out of a vital resource we need to compete on the global stage. what we need are people prepared for the careers of our new economy. by 2025 we could have 20 million jobs without enough college graduates to fill them. that's why at devry university, we're teaming up with companies like cisco to help make sure everyone's is ready with the know how we need for a new tomorrow. [ male announcer ] make sure america's ready. make sure you're ready. at ♪
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i took something for my sinuses, but i still have this cough. [ male announcer ] a lot of sinus products don't treat cough. they don't? [ male announcer ] nope, but alka seltzer plus severe sinus does it treats your worst sinus symptoms, plus that annoying cough. [ breathes deeply ] ♪ oh, what a relief it is! [ angry gibberish ] we're going turn now to the story of a lost fortune for the former mayor of san diego, maureen o'connor. who is now drowning in debt tonight after authorities say she gambled away millions, her excuse? grief gambling after the death of her husband, who, by the way, founded the jack-in-the-box food chain, which is where much of
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that money came from. here tonight, abc's nick watt. >> reporter: maureen o'connor, a one-time mayor of san diego, was a model citizen and a multi-millionaire. the wife of jack-in-the-box founder robert peterson. video poker proved her downfall. >> i never meant to hurt the city i loved. >> reporter: during nine years of hard gambling in vegas, atlantic city, and san diego, ms. o'connor wagered well over $1 billion. that's more than $300,000 every single day, more than $12,500 every single hour, waking and sleeping. her total losses -- $13 million. >> i did borrow the money from my husband's foundation. >> reporter: that's why she landed in court. over $2 million taken from a charity set up by the late husband. she'd already remortgaged her home, sold a hotel, auctioned her possessions. apparently spent her last dime. peterson died in '94 with o'connor by his side. she claims grief drove her to gambling.
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>> i lost my husband. i lost three of my siblings. i lost my two best friends. >> it can be triggered by grief, loss, stress, medications. gambling simply too much. >> reporter: o'connor also had a brain tumor during the gambling years. >> in the centers of the brain that affect and control logic, reasoning, and most importantly, judgment. >> reporter: ms. o'connor is now 66 years old, in poor health. broke. the court just gave her probation and two years to pay back that $2 million. nick watt, abc news, los angeles. >> our thanks to nick tonight. when we come back here, take a look at this. >> whoo! >> you can hear the cheers. the whale, the baby, and the synchronized swimming seconds after birth. you've got to see this. you've got to see this. and you wouldn't have it any other way. but your erectile dysfunction - you know, that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use
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we're going to turn to our "instant index" here on a friday night. and here's what makes the list. tiffany rings that don't come in the trademark blue box. look at this tonight. can you tell -- which one is a real deal and which one is allegedly a tiffany's knockoff. the one to the right is the real deal, starting at $11,000, a karat. the one on the left, at costco, they call it the tiffany ring. now tiffany, the iconic store, is suing. the one from costco costs just about $6,400.
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forget about three feet of snow. one baby couldn't wait for the snow to get cleared after the blizzard. 42-year-old lori went into labor, her neighbors springing into action. putting her in a sled, taking her to the hospital. they made it just in time for the birth of the snowman, named james after his father. another amazing birth. far from the snow. this one in sunny san diego. watch this, a mother killer whale, at sea world, about to give birth. the tail is already out there. suddenly, in a flash, the baby is out and synchronized swimming with its mother. the healthy calf weighs a healthy 350 pounds. we loved seeing that today. our "index" for a friday night. when we come back, what we witnessed at new york's famed carnegie hall. good luck. we were there behind the scenes to catch the moment that had everyone standing on their feet. this is one performance you will not forget. every on their feet. this is one performance you will not forget. aspirin is just old school. people have doubts about taking aspirin for pain. but they haven't experienced
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here in america, a country so filled with music, it's hard to believe there are children in parts of the world who are not allowed to perform. tonight, our "persons of the week," the children who came to new york city, determined to get their music back. they arrived here in america pushing their most prized possessions, their instruments.
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coming from home, where for so many years, there has been no music. gulalei unsure of what to make of this place called america. they're children from afghanistan. "world news" was invited to their school in kabul, where they have been trying to win back their freedom from the taliban and their music. now, they have come to america to perform. do you like america? >> yes. it's very beautiful. >> reporter: she plays the sitar, in a country where women almost never perform. eraj plays, too. for so long, there was no music. >> music was ban -- >> reporter: banned? >> banned. and they didn't want music. >> reporter: and the music wasn't the only thing stolen. do you have a mom and dad? [ speaking foreign language ] she tells us she's an orphan who lost bhoert mother and her father to the fighting with the taliban. do you remember your mom and dad? you do.
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ky i can see your smile. she wishes they could hear her music, just as we did. ♪ and right there waiting to perform for us, too, eraj. and just listen to what he said after hearing her. >> she's better than me. >> reporter: she's better than you? >> yeah. >> reporter: but he would play, too. ♪ he turned to her and said, she was playing better than him. >> that clearly shows the future of afghanistan. sometimes the girls can be much better than we, the men. >> reporter: we already know that in america. >> yes. >> reporter: the children then took me across the street here in new york city, on their way to the famous carnegie hall, where they were set to perform. they had been here three days, to a famous new york diner. where they were tapping their fingers to lady gaga. on the way to the famous hall, we showed them something they hadn't seen. this is starbucks. it's very american. do you want a hot chocolate? outside. a bit of a struggle.
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how to drink it. ready? but then we were on to that famous hall. for one last rehearsal. off they went. good luck. out on the renowned stage, after telling me this. are you nervous? >> no, i'm not. >> reporter: you're not nervous? >> no. >> reporter: it's carnegie hall. just a few hours later, they were dressed. the sold-out crowd was waiting. the moment had arrived for the kids from kabul. gulalei, eraj, dream playing out halfway across the world. ♪ [ applause ] >> and so we choose the afghanistan national institute of music and my two friends. so determined to perform here at carnegie hall, and they did. i'll see you later for the special "20/20." good night.
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tonight a new technology set back for the dmv after years of computer crashes they have given up on a silicon valley solution. >> two weeks to go until majorjñ spending cuts. tonight from the airport to research labs impact on the bay area. >> only on abc 7 news a man claims a paint job made him sick. wait until you hear what he did before filing a complaint. >> if a meteor hit your house, would your homeowners insurance pay? i'm looking into that. >> sky 7 hd now is over the scene of a police stand jf in oakland. officers believe there is someone in the building involve in a mid day building. good evening, i'm dan ashley. >> i'm carolyn johnson. police have swarmed this area near the berkeley border looking for suspects in that shooting. this is happening at shaddock
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avenue and 65th street. alan wong is there live for us. alan? >> a lot of people frustrated and tring to get back to their home. it's creating quite a problem. police have evacuated several people from the apartment in question.á you can see the apartment which is above a nail salon. police believe one or more armed and dangerous suspects are holed up this, started around 12:30 this afternoon near broadway and mcarj yumplt a shooting take place.3slñ one man was shot near the bart station and police say witnesses helped them track the suspects to this place. >> they said... here is what we saw. this is when suspects look like. here is a vehicle tle fled the
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scene in. that drew our officers on good information by witnesses. >> back live, sky 7 hd, oakland s.w.a.t. has this place surrounded and they just brought in a canine, presumably to make entry into the apartment. police say they've not made contacts with anyone inside of the apartment. but they say they have to take these measures just in case. it's -- causing a huge inconvenience for many people. living inside that have area, we're stay on this and bring you the latest if it happens in this newscast. >> thank you. santa clara man accused of making a death threat against a lawmaker is facing a list of felony charges tonight. charges could put him away at least a decade.
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